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Frigid temps but no records

February 05, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Thursday morning's low temperature of 10.6 degrees might have felt extreme, but was far warmer than the local record low for Feb. 5.

The record for that date was set in 1918, when local residents awoke to a frosty minus-12 degrees, according to the Web site www.i4weather.net, which is run by local weather observer Greg Keefer.

The winter of 1917-18 is one of the coldest on record for the area. That January, the average daily temperature was 17.6 degrees. It warmed up a bit in February, although the average daily temperature of 31.8 degrees still was below freezing. The area received 56 inches of snow that year, according to Keefer's Web site.

Then there's 1991, when people would have been wearing T-shirts on Feb. 5; the high temperature was a record 71 degrees.

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This year has been "really cold" so far, said Josh Newhard, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.

January started with mild temperatures, but by the middle of the month temperatures dropped significantly, he said.

The average temperature for January, averaging out the daily temperatures over the past 30 years, is 28 degrees, Newhard said. This January's average temperature was 1.4 degrees below that average, he said.

The current cold spell wasn't expected to last long.

AccuWeather.com. showed temperatures expected to hit the high 40s Saturday and rise into the 50s for Sunday.

While it's been cold, area snowfall has been significantly lower than usual.

The Hagerstown area usually gets about 20 inches of snow during the winter season, and so far has seen only 2.1 inches, Newhard said.

"We've got a ways to go yet with the winter," Newhard said. "We expect at least some snow," he said.

Meteorologists predict one or two more snowstorms this year, he said.

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